Get ready for Corus
The start of the new year can only mean one thing: the first major of
the season due to start soon in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands!
Corus, Wijk aan Zee has long eclipsed Hastings in all but being the world’s longest-running tournament. The jubilee 70th-year edition of this annual Dutch treat runs 11-27 January with an elite field of 14 – including
eight of the world’s top ten - doing battle in the top-rated Grandmaster ‘A’ group.
The Grandmaster ‘A’ lineup (in rating order from the October list) includes: 1. Vishy Anand (India), 2. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), 3. Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), 4. Veselin
Topalov (Bulgaria), 5. Peter Leko (Hungary), 6. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), 7. Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), 8. Levon Aronian (Armenia), 9. Boris
Gelfand (Israel), 10. Michael Adams (England), 11. Magnus Carlsen (Norway), 12. Judit Polgar (Hungary), 13. Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), 14. Loek
Van Wely (Holland).
And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there’s also an amazing sideshow of Grandmaster ‘B’ and ‘C’ groups, and the new edition this year of a ‘veterans tournament’ of
previous ‘A’ group
winners, featuring Viktor Korchnoi, Jan Timman, Ljubomir Ljubojevic and Lajos Portisch.
ICC will have live coverage throughout, with the Chess.FM team back in action to cover the first major of the year. Mig Greengard will hosting our daily
coverage, and he'll be joined by top GMs like Larry Christiansen, Joel Benjamin & Jon
Speelman, who will be providing all the expert analysis and commentary throughout along with a daily Game of the Day. Macauley Peterson will also be reporting live directly from the press room at Wijjk aan Zee, and he'll again be sending
us video coverage throughout.
FIDE January 2008 Rating List
It's out with the old and in with the new, as the first day of the new
year brings with it the publication of the latest Elo Rating list - the international chess ranking system devised in 1970 by Professor Arpad Elo.
2007 turned out to be a standout year for Vishy Anand, as the Indian ace not only took the
world title but also held on to the No.1 spot for most of it. Now, with Vladimir Kramnik’s resurgence in winning the Tal Memorial late last
year, his Russian rival, with a net gain of 14 points, has drawn level on the January 2008 list - but crucially takes the bragging rights to the top spot by virtue of playing more games in the last quarter.
With the two rivals tied equally
at the top, the scene is now set for their showdown world title match in Bonn, Germany, to be held in September. Also climbing back into third place is Veselin Topalov, with Alexander Morozevich, who won the Russian Championship Superfinals
in Moscow, moving into the fourth spot.
TOP-10 FIDE January 2008 Rating List
A new kid on the block
For someone so little, it looks as if big things are expected of 12-year-old
Daniel Naroditsky of Mechanics' Institute Chess Club in San Francisco, California. Late last year, Daniel became only the second American (the other being ICC's manest, a.k.a. IM Alex
Lenderman) to win a World Youth Championship gold
medal after a fantastic performance in Antalya, Turkey.
Seeded 13th, Daniel was on top of his game as he tied for first place on 9.5/11 with pre-tournament hot favorite, Ilya Nyzhnyk of Ukraine (who sensationally won the B-section of the
Moscow Open last year with a score of 8.5/9) in the boys' under-12 section. But on tie-breaks, Daniel took the gold and with it the accompanying title of FIDE Master.
And the secret of Daniel's success? He attributed it to countless hours of training on ICC! Apart from training sessions
with one of his coaches, Michael Aigner (fpawn), Daniel played many games using an anonymous account to finely hone a new set of openings to surprise his opponents in Aytalya - and it worked!
In recognition of Daniel's achievement, ICC honored the young star by awarding him a Lifetime Membership of the club. ICC CEO & President Joel
Berez was recently on hand to make the award to Daniel just before Christmas, when he visited the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club.